Iran's Regional Forum Proposal Would Benefit World

Iran's Regional Forum Proposal Would Benefit World  Iran's Regional Forum Proposal Would Benefit World

A lawmaker said the renewed call by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for a regional dialogue forum could help promote peace and cooperation in the international community.

"The foreign minister's proposal to form a forum for regional dialogue would benefit peace efforts and help increase international interaction," Alireza Rahimi also said in a recent interview with IRNA.

Tehran and Riyadh are locked in a bitter feud that has been escalating over the past couple of years.

Saudi Arabia has adopted an aggressive stance against Iran, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and aspiring to dominate the region. The Saudi regime has been emboldened by the support of US President Donald Trump. Tensions between the two countries have not eased since a January 2016 decision by the oil kingdom to cut ties with the Islamic Republic, citing the storming of its diplomatic premises in Tehran and Mashhad by protestors enraged over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr without due process.

Iran has frequently called for dialogue aimed at settling differences, but its overtures have been rejected by the Saudis. Speaking during the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Germany in February, Iran's top diplomat highlighted the need for the Persian Gulf states to surmount "the current state of division and tension" and develop a "realistic regional security arrangement".

"It can perhaps start with a modest regional dialogue forum, based on generally recognized principles and shared objectives. The forum can promote understanding on a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from confidence- and security-building measures to combat terrorism, extremism and sectarianism," Zarif said.

He reiterated that appeal in an op-ed article published by the New York Times earlier this month.

"We urge responsible parties to recognize the need to look forward. And so, let us find hope in a shared vision of a more peaceful future and be brave enough to take tangible action to make it happen. In these pages in 2015, I presented a proposal for a regional dialogue forum, a way to bring Iran and its neighbors together to work toward peace," he wrote.

"We're hopeful that responsible actors outside the Middle East will focus efforts on urging their allies in the region to take our proposal seriously. We believe it can be a good start and we once again invite all of our neighbors to participate."


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